“It’s Difficult To Define Highlife Genre Nowadays, Even The Artists Are Reluctant To Embrace It” – Okraku Mantey

In a recent interview on the ‘Super Morning Show’ on Joy News, Mark Okraku Mantey, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, shed light on the declining status of the highlife genre in Ghana’s music scene. According to Mantey, the reluctance of musicians to produce more highlife sounds has contributed to the genre’s diminished reputation.

Mantey emphasized the importance of a brand’s image in the showbiz sector, stating that if a brand fails to appeal to younger consumers, they are likely to seek alternative options. He noted that many younger artists incorporate elements of highlife into their music but hesitate to identify themselves as highlife musicians, fearing association with an older demographic.

The former music producer cited examples such as Kelvyn Boy and Kuami Eugene, both known for their highlife-infused tracks, yet reluctant to fully embrace the highlife label. Mantey stressed the need to reposition and revamp highlife’s image in order to attract younger performers and fans, ensuring its continued relevance in Ghana’s dynamic music landscape.

Illustrating his point, Mantey recalled the transformation of highlife legend Amakye Dede’s image under the management of Fred Darko. By repositioning Dede through strategic branding initiatives and high-profile events, such as a memorable performance at the conference center attended by dignitaries including former President Kufour, Darko was able to elevate Dede’s status and increase his market value.

Mantey’s insights highlight the significance of brand positioning in shaping the perception and success of musical genres. As Ghana’s music industry continues to evolve, efforts to rejuvenate highlife and appeal to younger audiences are essential for preserving this cherished cultural heritage. Through strategic rebranding and promotion, highlife can reclaim its rightful place as a vibrant and influential genre in Ghanaian music.

Ben Blay
Ben Blayhttps://www.benblaynews.net/
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